Are Discussion Forums A Waste of Time?

Let me just tell you this, that when it comes to discussion forums people usually say that they’re either a waste of time or the exact oposite, they’re awesome for connecting and networking with other people.

What do you think, are discussion forums just a waste of time?

When you’re using a discussion forum you can get into discussion after discussion without having much to show for it. If you do, you’re wasting your time.

If you visit your favorite discussion forum for a specific period of time each day and spend that time wisely by sharing tips and discussion interesting topics, then you’re not wasting your time.

Many valuable friendships and joint ventures have been made through online networking forums. For instance, most of the jobs I outsource are to people I have met via discussion forums.

There are especially three things you need to avoid:

1. A lof of negative people stay at discussion forums. When you visit a discussion forum you don’t always know who you’re dealing with. Unfortunately, a lot of people are quite negative and even downright nasty. You might meet them. Only visit discussion forums that inspire you and make you feel good.

2. Meaningless discussions. It’s okay to make friends as well as network, but you really don’t want to spend half of your day talking about non-business related topics. Use your time wisely. It’s a lot harder to switch back to being more business-like after you’ve been very socially chatty and informal for a while.

3. You give more than you get. It’s good to give back; there is no denying that. But if you spend a lot of time on forums helping others and not achieving much in return yourself, then you may want to ask why you’re doing it in the first place? Give out helpful information here and there and include a link back to your website for further information (in the signature).

Discussion forums can be a great addition to your business success or a complete time-wasting exercise.

When it comes to Internet marketing, there are three discussion forums I recommend:

- Digital Point Forums
- Warrior Forum
- Third Tribe (paid)

What’s your experience, are they a total waste of time?

Comments

  1. Nima Heydarian says

    DP is probably the most waste of time

    I’m on cre8asiteforums and find it the most useful. The footer links there have no value as they are all no follow so people actually write good posts.

  2. Victor Nicollet says

    Hi there. You raise a very interesting point!

    The single biggest source of visitors for my blog (except for search engines) is a discussion forum I participated in for a few years. This is where I perfected my English (I’m not a native speaker), where I learned many things about what ended up being my career (computer science) and where I made several friends that I now interact with in real life. And it helped build my “personal brand” online by attaching my name to a lot of hopefully interesting content.

    Everything you do repeatedly helps you become better at it. Can you train some skill or improve some aspect of your being by participating in online discussions? I believe such a thing is not hard to find. But until you find it, I believe you will be wasting your time.

    • Jens P. Berget says

      Hi Victor,

      This is very interesting. I have never thought about discussion forums as a way to perfect my English (I’m like you, not a native speaker). I also get traffic from forums, but not a lot.

  3. Pablo Edwards says

    The jury is still out on this one for me. I like reading and leaving an encouraging note or bringing about another point, but for productivity sake it is probably not all that effective.

    • Jens P. Berget says

      Hi Pablo, I agree with you. If I focus only on traffic, it’s probably not that effective, but when I focus on building relations and helping others (and even receiving help) then it’s a lot more effective :)

      • Kyle says

        I only get attention if I focus on trolling or show I am in a raging mood for some reason because when I am nice and helpful about the discussion I get the most ignored.

        I seem to only attract attention if I can make myself look foolish.

  4. Justin Dupre says

    Great post! I really do enjoy my stay and learn from Digital Point Forum and Warrior Forum.. Check out Wickedfire when you get a chance!

  5. Kyle says

    Number 3 seems to happen to me the most. I post out all this information about the topic being discussed and people will either ignore me or worse yet reply to OTHER people who do not have as much knowledge or experienced of whatever is being discussed.

    I am at the point where I am more then happy just to troll forums if given the chance but I’d rather be payed $$$ to troll by a higher *agent* since trolling is usually a bannable offense and it’s often not clear what the forum considers *trolling* so I do not want to look like a *poor* troll.

    I want to look *cool*.

    Often times two people disagreeing will start a fight and a poster who is on one side will say the OP is trolling which only invokes more fighting.

    It would be fun to be a troll and get banned………only if I could get payed.

  6. Andreas Pazer says

    Forum marketing has some tough competition now that social marketing such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace (just to name a few) is on a steady rise on the social networks.

  7. Technary says

    The backlinks from forums really seem to have lost the charm. The social networking(Facebook and Twitter mainly) is now an alternative way to do marketing of the blogs. Thanks to write a great post on this issue.

  8. Kyle says

    Why do forum topics constantly go off topic and when someone mentions that very question the posters show their hypocrite sides making the points all that much more valid?

    Am I the only one not blind to this?

    If you don’t like a thread why reply unless you have something constructive either serious or humor to add to it that doesn’t degrade the thread?

    I am sick and tired of seeing forums go to waste because of excessive OT which the moderators either don’t do anything about or are overloaded with deleting too many posts.

    It makes me feel very depressed when looking at forums.

    BTW: I like how it has a *Confirm you are not a spammer* then the usual spam captcha that I and many other legit posters who don’t wish to spam cannot read while spammers will still find away around it to ruin things.

  9. Kyle says

    Why is it I am always either too early or too late in order to fit in anywhere including online discussions such as forums?
    I seem to be out of synch with everybody else and it’s driving me nuts.

    If it weren’t for my belief in God I’d have gone crazy years ago but my believe in God is the only thread keeping me from insanity.

  10. Asifa Shaheen says

    Forums are the best way to grab maximum number of blog traffic if we follow this method in right ways. Also other social media websites plays vital role in bringing traffic towards your website.

  11. George says

    Forums can drive traffic to blogs, but you need to work hard and experiment a bit. See which forums brig more traffic and concentrate your efforts there.

  12. Rohit Singh says

    Nice way to on how to use forums to drive traffic but most important point is to stay geniune and don\’t spam forums simply for sake of getting traffic you will likely to get banned in doing soPost useful threads and try to reply and be active to see better results

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